BENEVOLENT COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (BERDSCO-NGO)
ATT: MR. FORZI George NGU, DIRECTOR
P. O. BOX 368, BUEA, SOUTH WEST PROVINCE
TELEPHONE + 237 9 627 88 84, FAX: +237 3 332 25 43
BERDSCO VOLUNTEER PROJECTS AND WORK CAMPS FOR 2008-2009
(A) PROJECT (1) BERDSCO POVERTY AND HUNGER REDUCTION MICROFINANCE: 6 POSITIONS AVAILABLE.
Poverty is the denial of human rights (Latifee H.I. 2003).The poor are those with little income and does not earn much. As a consequence, live below the poverty line of each specific country. They are so needy in terms of wealth creation. In Cameroon, women constitute the majority of the population and as well managers of their respective homes. They are prone to poverty than their male counterparts. Since the incidence of poverty rest heavily on women than men, if one person has to be starved in the family is usually the mother. They go through many difficult times to feed the family during the days of poverty and hunger. In the light of this, credit is more significant to the women than men. With credits, they can maneuver with profitable entrepreneurial activities to meet up family basic needs; food, clothing, shelter, medical care, social issues (marriages, deaths, and births), expansion of their capital base and in overall, investment in human capital such as education of children. A cross interview with many family heads in our sector of activities revealed that they do not want their children to lack medical care, and illiterates as they are throughout their lives.
Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society (BERDSCO) has experimented this project with lots of experiences for the past 10 years. It has now decided to look for partners, donors, investors and benevolent friends to raise its capital base to revamp this project. This project has the goal of raising principally the the income levels of deprived women, socialize the poor into banking practices, generate self-employment, promote food security and peace building among the indigenous population of the targeted areas. Experience volunteers are welcome to participate in this project.
(B) PROJECT (2) PHYSICIANS AND HEALTH SPECIALISTS: 31 POSITIONS AVAILABLE
Cameroon, a tropical country has many health hazard. A survey carried out by Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society (BERDSCO) in 1999 reveal that the urban and rural population of Cameroon suffers from many diseases. Examples of such are: malaria which is a killer disease accounting for 70% of all hospital consultations, and 45% of all deaths at medical centres. Ranking to this is HIV/AIDS which has seriously threatened its working population. Other associated diseases are meningitis, cancer, measles, pneumonia, diabetes, typhoid fever, skin diseases, anemia, diarrhea, tuberculosis, filarial, gastric ulcer, pregnancy complications resulting to deaths of pregnant women, hypertension, etc. The studies of Tasong (2000), cited BERDSCO area of operation – South West Province as 1 medical doctor 13,500 inhabitants, 1 nurse to 1, 600 inhabitants and 149 inhabitants per hospital bed. One of the main activities of BERDSCO is health prevention. Through its intervention in the field since 1998 in the communities where this organisation works highly need the services of the following health specialist; Pediatricians (2), Gynecologists (3), Eye Specialists (2), Dermatologists (2), General Practitioners (5), Surgeons (2) AND NURSES (15).
BERDSCO volunteers will be attached to approved hospitals and health centres where medical facilities for consultation and surgery are available. Duration of assignment ranges from 3 months and Maximum 24 months renewable. Fees of 550 euro are charged to cover administrative charges, enrolment into the Cameroon Medical Council and Airport collection. This will need the submission of a written application to practice to the Cameroon Medical Council C/O the host organisation BERDSCO for these logistics to be sort out before arrival. The volunteer will spend 382 Euro for resident permit on arrival to enable them stay for a period more than 3 months.
(C) PROJECT (3) NON-HEALTH VOLUNTEERS.
We are currently looking for other non-health volunteers to cover these areas of interest. 15 Positions Available, Duties. Review of literature on poverty alleviation. To collect data on problems of BERDSCO and the community and design project grant proposals, researching for donors, conducting the marketing of the projects and fundraising for implementing such projects (Skills in fundraising and project proposal is required), Projects are expected to come from the following areas of poverty alleviation: Development and maintenance of our website Knowledge in ICT technology, raising portfolio for microfinance activity for poverty alleviation, identification of training needs and designing training proposals, agriculture, environmental issues (education, conservation, wildlife protection) and agro-forestry (nursery, planting and maintenance.
(D) PROJECT (4) TEACHERS: 10 Positions Available, Duties, Teaching (Professional skills and experience in teaching elementary school children from 3-12 years old)
(E) PROJECT (5) RESEARCHERS: 12 POSITIONS AVAILABLE: Mountain Range Medical Plant Survey and Conservation Expedition. The project involves the survey, conservation, documentation of important medicinal plants and publishing of research result for scientific and library use. This mountain range is considered as an attitude of 2000 meters above sea level. These ranges in the South West province constitute M’moch Plateau in Lebialem division, Mount Manenguba, Mount Kupe, Mount Rumpi and Fako Mountain internationally known as Mount Cameroon. These zones have been gazetted and proposed by the government as forest reserves because of their developmental potentials to the state in the domain of tourism and biodiversity conservation potentials to the nation. These zones have endemic flora and fauna richness for example, a fern plant Terries ekima is only found around this region and no where else in the world. Other resources such as Pygeaum Africanum in the mountain range of the South West province constitute development potentials associated with tourism and scientific research. Despite the development potentials of these ranges, the areas suffers from deforestation, eruption, earth tremors, erosion, unsustainable exploitation of medicinal plants, uncontrolled bush fire, water pollution and pressure on the forest for agricultural activities through continuous shifting cultivation, timber extraction and fuel wood exploitation. All these activities threaten the existing of medical plants for human, consumption and livestock development. People living in rural areas resort mostly to medicinal plants for health care resulting from traditional beliefs, the incident of high cost of modern medicinal services as well as lack of accessibility to most medical centres. In spite of the importance of medicinal plants in sustaining lives, poor attention is being given on its surveys, conservation, documentation, publication of findings and awareness campaign for its sustainability and importance to humanbeings. This project will be established to address the problem for the present and future generation. This will require fundraising money to execute this research.
(F) PROJECT (6): WILDLIFE SURVEY ON RUMPI MOUNTAINS AND PUBLICATION OF RESEARCH RESULTS: 12 POSITIONS AVAILABLE: The project will involve wildlife survey, documentation and publication of then importance to the present and future generation. This activity will be conducted around the Rumpi Mountain Range in Cameroon for the present and future generation scientific and library use. We expect this research result will assist many scholars, students, universities and the world at large in the quest for knowledge. Editing and publishing skills will be needed as well. A volunteer with some skills in the marketing of the published work will be required. These projects are considerably important to our organization. That is why I am asking you about co-operation through labour force and funding support. If you can not take it up, please kindly to direct us to another organization which could help us in this issue.
(G) PROJECT (7) BUILDING ENGINEERS AND FOOD PROCESSING CONSULTANTS: 6 POSITIONS AVAILABLE: Duties. Construction of sugar Cane factory, development sugar cane estate and workers residential areas. This project will need 1 building engineer, 2 sugar processing engineers and 2 agricultural engineers and 1 industrial consultant in with field experience on agro-industrial projects.
(H) PROJECT (8) WORK CAMPS 30 POSITIONS PER BATCH: Assignment: To manually construct about 3 kilometers of local roads and culverts with the assistance of the community. This activity can take place for a period of three weeks negotiable with the leader of the team. Need youths with physical skills. Other social and cultural activities associated with further interaction with community members to identify further needs. Usually, this activity has been done by villagers of the area manually. The task may not be completed by one batch of campers at a time.
(I) PROJECT (9) DATA COLLECTION AND PUBLICATION OF THREE DIRECTORIES 6 POSITIONS: No fixed duration of assignment. The volunteer should have background knowledge in Journalism with experience in publishing. Volunteers will work in pairs of two to collect data from field existence organizations to produce and publish directories. The following directories have been earmarked for publications. (1) Directory of Licenced Microfinance Institutions in Cameroon. (2) Directory of Development Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and Training Institutions in Cameroon. (3) Directory of Permanent and Active Common Initiative Groups in Cameroon. It is expected that such volunteers will design their fundraising, the publication and marketing channels.
(J) PROJECT (10) PROJECT DONATIONS FOR RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT WORK. This project concerns able and experienced volunteers, individuals and business organizations across the world. Number of Positions not specific. In this area Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society (BERDSCO), is looking for talented and benevolent friends of this organisation to support its rural and urban development work by voluntarily donating “Vegetable Seeds” e.g. Sweet Corn, etc” to our rural poor farmers, project equipment for rural development such as vehicles, computers, medical equipment, eye glasses for the masses, wheel chairs, office equipment and sufficient medicines for the poor map out on our scheme. We also solicit for assistance from volunteers in the area of packaging, shipping, warehousing and customs clearing charges. Such assistance will be very helpful to us as a NGO located in a place of need i.e. Africa with its mission of salvaging the poor from poverty with no government support for its programme and projects.
(K) PROJECT (11) CONSTRUCTION OF BERDSCO MEDICAL CENTRE, RURAL SKILLED DEVELOPMENT TRAINING CENTRE AND SUPPORT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF POOR PEOPLE HOMES. This project involves volunteers to raise funds and equipment to assist BERDSCO to construct its self-owned “Medical Centre” to offer medical services at an affordable level to the poor in Cameroon. Volunteers with technical know-how will participate in the construction work themselves if they wish to do so. The present medical services are unable to meet the needs of the poor that we frequently targets i.e. those living below a dollar a day. The Centre will provide cheap services and drugs at affordable prices for immediate and long-term sustainability of the project.
Secondly, volunteers, voluntary organizations, individuals are expected to fundraise money to construct a “Rural Skills Development Centre” for the training of the schools dropouts, women and community dwellers to find a place in the job market or self employed. Volunteers will participate in the construction work by themselves if so desired. The third sub component in this area involves volunteer support to the rural communities and the poor by assisting them to construct their local residential houses. So volunteers may fundraise in this sub component through equipment and labour working along the identified poor in groups to salvage the poor from colds.
(L) PROJECT (12) PROVISION OF LEGAL SERVICES TO THE NEEDY: Cost of the legal services in Cameroon are beyond bearing for the local poor population and youths who are not sure of their daily bread and often earn up in prison when they commit a simple crime. The zeal for riches by the present legal practitioners often causes the poor to end up undefended when matters of cases arise in their communities or through their daily little transactions. Volunteers will work across the poor attached to BERDSCO programme collecting information and defending them in the court of law especially on their right free of charge. Therefore, it is envisaged that volunteers or volunteering organizations will fundraise to achieve this project. Number of positions available are indefinite.
(M) PROJECT (13) ESTABLISHMENT OF TWO INFORMATION AND AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY CENTRES (ICT): Information is very vital for all operations in the society. Many people in third world countries such as Cameroon are still being deprived of access to it due to poverty. Besides this impediment, many of them live in rural areas. When compared to Cameroon, we can say that above 65% of its population live in a rural setting. Coupled with the degree of poverty, access to information becomes very difficult. The rural population becomes ignorant of sources of information, and its uses and even what happens in other parts of the world. School children even of University going age inclusive have not benefited from Information and Communication Technology facilities for example internet operations. Yet they are studying to become businessmen of tomorrow by then in an advanced technological society. This project is designed to provide information and communication technology in rural areas accessible by rural communities whom majorities are farmers and educational institutions from elementary to seventh form college students. Thus volunteers and volunteering organizations are expected to raise funds to establish this useful centre to allow the rural poor dwellers have access to information. This will also help to train Cameroonians on how to handle this centre and training of users as well as finding a place in the job market. The numbers of volunteers needed are unspecific but depend on the will of individuals or organizations in assisting the poor.
(N) PROJECT (14) ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION NUMBER OF POSITIONS AVAILABLE 4. One of the historic residential rural areas in Cameroon called Lebialem division is highly threatened by landslide to which many people are often killed injured and left homeless including road blockage. This as a result of some effects, rainfall is high, soil containing much water and start eroding very easily. The second issue is that people remove or cut down the natural trees by the roadsides to use as fuel wood or for the land to be use for agricultural purposes. This implies that the land surface is very unstable and can move without difficulties. This is what we called landslides. BERDSCO-Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society have been working in the area for the past 17 years and has experienced many problems with transport due to road blockage caused by landslide. BERDSCO has decided to come up with “Tree Planting Project” in Fontem and Alou areas of Lebialem. Alongside tree planting, members of various communities in the area will be educated on environmental issues, proper management of their farms, roads and organic fertilization. Volunteers are expected to fundraise money to carry out this project from tree nursing to planting and organisation of maintenance aspect with the community.
(O) PROJECT (15) ESTABLISHING 5 SCHOOL GARDENS PROJECT: The back bone of Cameroon is agriculture and the country is 80% an agrarian state with very few agro-industries. Good nutrition and education is very important component in the human wellbeing. Although importance of school gardens for children’s nutrition has been approved, school garden project have not receive priority at all from donors and governments. Thus it has received minimal policies and financial support. In Cameroon specifically, the situation is similar. Gardening is not compulsory but just optional in school curricula even though the country is employing 70% of its active population in producing agricultural products. This cause children after living school to lack knowledge and skills to begin earning a living as 80% of the country’s incomes comes from agriculture. Thus they reverse to become juveniles delinquent due to their jobless situation. To contribute its own solution to this problem, Benevolent Community Education and Rural Development Society (BERDSCO) has decided to established 5 experimental school gardens in 5 elementary schools in Lebialem division of Cameroon. It is estimated that if the project is executed successfully, over 1000 pupils will be educated on improved agricultural skills, nutrition, food security and environmental issues. Their diet will improve and through their involvement in the implementation, they will gain agricultural knowledge and lifelong skills.
*NOTE: Volunteers will pay for the expedition as indicated in project (1) above, all travels, accommodation and food at affordable local prices. Local support to volunteers available in terms of training finding accommodation, introduction to the peoples’ way of life. Our airport of Collection is Douala International Airport. Other than Douala needs special arrangement for cost to be borne by the volunteer or campers themselves. Volunteers arriving from countries where there is no Cameroon Diplomatic Mission will need to send to us scan e-mail copies of their passports & 2 passport size photos for BERDSCO to arrange for their visas.